Owner: Henderson value “overstated” after production cuts
Henderson Mine and Mill owner Freeport-McMoRan sought to reduce its property tax valuation from a five-year average in Grand County because falling production meant Henderson was overvalued, a company spokesman has said.
The Grand County Board of Commissioners voted to reduce the valuation, which is based on production, from a five-year average to a three-year average last week.
“Because of the market conditions that drove Henderson to decrease production, suspend development and reduce manpower in an effort to remain competitive, the continued use of the five-year averaging method to calculate the mine-by-proceeds property tax results in an overstated value for the property,” Kinneberg said.
Eric Kinneberg with Freeport-McMoRan said the mine had curtailed production to a 10 million pound-per-year rate from 27 million pounds per year in 2015.
Henderson also suspended development for new mining areas in January 2016.
The mine’s workforce was also reduced by about 210 jobs. There are currently about 230 employees at the mine in Clear Creek County and 120 employees at the Mill near Kremmling, Kinneberg said.
Clear Creek County rejected a similar request from Freeport-McMoRan to adjust its valuation.
The mine currently has around 5 years of ore reserves left.
“The mine life at Henderson can be extended beyond the remaining five years with further mine development, which would be dependent on a recovery in the molybdenum market,” Kinneberg said. “The timing of initiating a mine development schedule to enable a continuation of Henderson mine operations without interruption is under evaluation.”
Grand County officials are currently examining the impact that the revaluation will have on tax revenue from Henderson.
Hank Shell can be reached at 970-557-6010.
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